2018: A fresh start
I entered 2018 in the midst of making huge changes, not knowing quite what I was doing with my life, and - frankly - not in a great headspace. But I had hope; I was making changes to ensure that I could explore new opportunities (and the world!), taking control, and designing a life that would make me happy. I didn’t have an intentional 'word’ for the year, but I knew that 2018 was the year in which I wanted to figure things out.
And while obviously, I don’t have it all figured out (who does?!), I am calling 2018 a success.
I took the time to read, listen and educate myself further. I learned a huge amount about myself and others, defining what I was willing to tolerate, and better understanding what I needed (to do, and to have) in order to be content.
I made the most of the present moment, travelling the world while my body is at its strongest. I showed myself what I was capable of, and rebuilt my self-confidence and resilience. I created memories that will sustain me through any dark days that lay ahead. In fact, I already look back on these with a sense of amazement!
And most wonderfully, I gave myself the freedom to do / have whatever I wanted, and I realised how happy I was with the “smaller” constants in my life.
I loved my travels, and I continue to love coming back to my beautiful home.
I am grateful for every friendship I had in my twenties, but I truly treasure the smaller group of incredible friends and family I consistently surround myself with.
I’ve stopped feeling like I should always be doing something very exciting, and revel in quiet evenings in with Netflix, candles, a bubble bath, a book, knitting…!
From solo dance parties in the kitchen to wandering around a new city, I love my own company more than ever.
Since my early twenties, when my then boyfriend was diagnosed with Leukaemia marking the start of a turbulent near-decade, I have been craving contentment, peace, consistency. Maybe it’s age, life experience, the fact that I’ve given myself the freedom to do anything I want to, or the result of taking charge of myself after a rough time… but I feel like I have more of these things that ever before.
In part, this is likely linked to (somewhat) accepting my diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy, and it’s progression. There’s no doubt that this illness and the impact it has and will continue to have on my life has changed me. But key to everything, is that I am determined to make the best I can of everything.
And so onto 2019
There is much more work I want to do, for myself and for others, and I am excited for the year ahead. I’ll be sharing my thoughts, plans, intentions and hopes in my Fortnightly Letter next Saturday (sign up below if you’d like to receive it).
But broadly, I am heading into the new year with a few key phrases stuck in my head… (looks like I won’t be able to narrow it down to a word once again. Each to their own!)
…and just for fun (and because you do you, babes!), I love: “Surely not everybody was KungFu fighting."
I wouldn’t have made it though some truly dark times transitioning from 2017 to 2018, or learned as much as I have, without being enormously inspired and comforted by the work and stories of others. So I could resist sharing some of the things that made a difference to me or that I simply loved in 2018. Enjoy!
Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton
How Do You Like Me Now, Holly Bourne
The Choice, Edith Eger
The High Low, with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes
How to Fail, with Elizabeth Day
You’re Booked, with Daisy Buchanan
SUBSCRIBER EMAILS FROM:
Jen Carrington’s Weekly Letters
Fiona Barrows’ Letter & Notes
Nicole Antoinette’s Notes of Grit and Grace
Sara Tasker, the ultimate Instagram Guru
Rachel Cargle, for raising awareness
Sas Petherick, for helping many work through self-doubt
Laura Jane Williams, for fabulous story telling
Lucy Sheridan, for a reminder not to compare yourself to others
Not Engaged, for laughs
AND… ON THE HORIZON FOR JANUARY 2019:
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
What A Time To Be Alone, by Chidera Eggerue
The Marvellous Mrs Maisel - Season 2 (incongruous, but it’s my list!)
To find out more about my plans for 2019, sign up to my email list via the form at the bottom of this page. I share some of the more personal and / or scary things there every fortnight, and will be sharing my hopes for the new year on Saturday 5 January…
Until then, Happy New Year!